Thursday, October 9, 2008


I would like to watch the movie "Baby Mama," starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. It looks like it will be very funny, from what I have seen of the scenes that slideshow through the main menu. In part I want to watch it because Tina Fey, with her uncanny resemblance to Sarah Palin, is so sought after right now, but mostly it just looks like it'll make me laugh, and laughter is supposed to be the best medicine, as they say.

I cannot currently watch "Baby Mama," however, even though I am currently in possession of two copies, because both copies are Blu Ray format and neither one of them plays on my new computer with the Blu Ray player. That is to say, neither one of them plays past the blue screen with the film ratings information (this movie is PG-13: Parents, be aware that there may be strong language and adult jokes), where my computer locks up and everything stops. Thank you, Netflix, for sending me a replacement disk so immediately when the first one didn't play—it has come in handy already, to verify that it is not the problem of the disk itself. Even though I have to say, as of yet it hasn't been very entertaining as a movie.

I realize that technology changes rapidly, but I'm having a hard time believing that a movie released on DVD last week has already outstripped the abilities of the computer I purchased at the end of June. However, having spent a total of 208 minutes (158 of those this evening, the rest yesterday) on the phone with Dell Technical Support and having reached no resolution, I'm finding my belief system starting to deteriorate.

It's interesting to spend two hours and 38 minutes in a row on the phone with someone in India—or rather it's not interesting at all. Using some new system called "Dell Connect," my technician was able to see my desktop and manipulate my computer from afar—that was interesting for about three minutes, then embarrassing for about five, because he could see what I could see: Us Weekly's daily newsletter, and two other windows of Us "news" showing items of interest I'd clicked on; a mah jongg game in progress; a picture of Ian and Spackle, wet and miserable, camping outside Bellingham next to train tracks one May.

You might imagine that having someone in tech support for a major computer company controlling your computer would mean that windows would pop open and closed and things would be uploaded and downloaded and installed and uninstalled at break-neck speed. You would be wrong. Tech support may have more ideas of where to look for solutions than you, but that's it. It's still not a fast process.

Fortunately Ian came home soon after the beginning of my call and delivered the mail including—wait for it—the current paper issue of Us Weekly (jeez—don't I read anything else???). I was able to update myself of the goings on of Taylor Swift and that Jonas brother (split!), Miley Cyrus (sweet 16 at Disneyland! Two months before she turns 16! New Maltipoo pup!), Halle Berry (sexiest woman! at 40! and after having a kid!), and many other important people in my life. Then I had to pee, so I handed Ian the phone during one of the brief times that my technician had put me on hold, instead of just breathing endlessly in my ear the way I was breathing endlessly into his. I got the phone back before the hold music ended. Then Ian had to leave for Hoover's second-to-last puppy training class without me (at the time, it seemed better to see this through to the end); then I went downstairs and got my knitting.

Then, eventually, after much installing and uninstalling and restarting and reconnecting with India my technician spoke again: "I am sorry, I have no more ideas. I think right now we should end, and tomorrow night we should begin again. It will probably not be me, however, it will probably be a Level Two Resolution Specialist, who can give you a call back at the time of your choosing, after 8 o'clock or 9 o'clock at night."

"Uh, okay, how about 9 o'clock." What better way to spend a Friday night (after dinner with friends, that is), then sitting at home, patently not watching a movie I really want to see?

At least I'll be working with a Resolution Specialist, though, and not the Dragging-Out-The-Process specialist I was evidently working with today. It gives me hope, that one day at last I will get to enjoy "Baby Mama".

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